So this isn’t the official review. But WOWWWW. This album is beautiful in so many different ways. Its not easy to digest, but its pure in its emotions and it transcends through the music. From the production to the lyrics, this is definitely Kanyes most progressive album. Its hip-hop and its not, its production marks a “new wave” in music as Kanye has titled it. It crosses genre boundaries, as it has electronic sounds of dance, rock riffs, and hip-hop sampling. Its similar to the experimentation from “Stronger” but on a grander scale and a more polished sound. I have to say this might be my favorite album this year, its not an easy listen but it grows with every listen and you can feel the album will have a huge impact in music. You need to buy this album on the 18th.
1.) On Sight (Produced by Daft Punk)
“On Sight” is produced by Daft Punk and begins like a full-fledged attack, no intro, the music just goes then Yeezus starts. The synths are fully alive on this one. Its literally an attack “Yeezy season approaching/Fuck whatever y’all been hearing/ Fuck what, fuck whatever y’all been wearing/ The monster about to come alive again”, the intro bars lets you know the mentality that Kanye is on. Then the song switches up in between chorus and verse to angelic singing. This is just the beginning.
2.) Black Skinhead (Produced by Daft Punk)
“Black Skinhead” begins with the sounds of heavy breathing, I have to say this is one of the most aggressive tracks on the album, its almost a rock song. “Four in the morning, and I’m zonin’/hink I’m possessed, it’s an omen/I keep it 300, like the Romans/300 bitches, where’s the Trojans?/Baby we livin’ in the moment”, this chorus is really aggressive back by the “AHH”s it makes impossible to not feel like starting a riot to this one. This song is all about Yeezus’ attitude, “I’m aware I’m a king/Back out the tomb bitch/Black out the room bitch/Stop all that coon shit/These niggas ain’t doin’ shit/These niggas ain’t doin’ shit/What do you say to a masked man/This Inglourious Basterd that’s rappin’…” its his way of saying he’s back.
3.) I Am A God (Ft. God) (Produced by Daft Punk)
This track features GOD. SMH. Not sure if it even needs a review. But “I Am A God” is fully of intensity. The bass is building throughout the track, the electric synths roll throughout, and the lyrics on this one might make religious folks hate Kanye. The hook stating “I am a god/So hurry up with my damn massage/In a French ass restaurant/Hurry up with my damn croissants/I am a god…” and lyrics such as “I just talked to Jesus/He said ‘what up Yeezus?’/I said “Shit I’m chilling/Trying to stack these millions”/I know he the most high/But I am a close high..” It also has a deep, chopped and screwed voice saying “I AM A GOD”, could be that God feature. The song ends with Kanye frantically screaming “AHHHHH” as the beat dies out and comes back in with heavy bass and drums, and it almost sounds like he is running. This one shows how far Kanye’s attitude towards religion has grown as he feels so blessed and comparable to a God level, since we are created in his image, right? (I’ve read bible before).
4.) New Slaves (Ft. Frank Ocean)
“New Slaves” was the first song anyone heard off “Yeezus”, back when he started his projections campaign, but finally good audio quality. If you’re looking for a song with a message this is it, but its more ubiquitous than previous political charged songs that Ye’ has done in the past. Its a song dealing with racism, “My momma was raised in the era when/Clean water was only served to the fairer skin/Doing clothes you would have thought I had help/But they wasn’t satisfied unless I picked the cotton myself…” but beyond the traditional sense, as he talks about his fashion. This song deals with the type of racism a black rich man still deals with in 2013. The type of “New Slaves” being created by a system that has corporations throwing “Maybach keys” to artist to keep them complacent. And its Kanye spitting in the face of those oppressors on “You see it’s leaders and it’s followers, but I’d rather be a dick than a swallower” and also disrespectfully saying “They prolly all in the Hamptons/Bragging ’bout what they made/Fuck you and your Hampton house/I”ll fuck your Hampton spouse/Came on her Hampton blouse/And in her Hampton mouth”. Yup, its Kanye’s big F U to the whole system. Then the beat switches to a more light tempo and features some singing interpolation of Kanye and Frank Ocean, it sounds heavenly actually.
5.) Hold My Liquor (Ft. Chief Keef & Justin Vernon)
On “Hold My Liquor”, Kanye shows his love for new sensation Chief Keef. I’m not a big fan of Chief Keef, but you can tell he had alot of direction from Kanye as his assist on the hook makes the song what it is. This song is the type of reflection of drunk nights, where you wanted a person that you’re no longer in a relationship with. Its soulful and heavy. The lyrics are Kanye in light storytelling mode “I’m hanging on a hangover/Five years we been over/Ask me why I came over/One more hit and I can own yah/One more fuck and I can own yah/One cold night in October”. The hook provided by Keef has underlying auto-tune assisted by Kanye also. The synths and riffs on the end of this almost give it that sensation of not being in control which is exactly what the song is about as Keef sings “I can’t handle no liquor/But these bitches can’t handle me/I can’t control my niggas/And my niggas they can’t control me/You say you know me, my nigga/But you really just know the old me”. Its a polarizing song, the young Chief Keef attitude with the more developed Kanye West, but its Chi regardless.
6.) I’m In It (Ft. Travis Scott)
This track is one of the more explosive tracks on the whole album. “I’m In It” has sort of dance hall infused in it, and its well build with synths and drums and bass adjusting to the hook. The lyrics on here are funny in a Kanye way “Uh, she love different kinds of sex now, “Uh, black girl sippin’ white wine/Put my fist in her like a civil rights sign/And grabbed it with a slight grind/And held it ’til the right time/Then she came like AAAAAHHH!”. He’s got quotables dedicated to getting women throught the whole song, and Kanye remains funny in this form throughout the album, its entertaining. I’m still not sure what all of the hook is saying, but its part of the mystic of the track. The dogs barking in the background are such a dope sound effect.
7.) Blood On The Leaves
“Blood On The Leaves” is the type of song only Kanye could pull off. The sample of “Strange Fruit” by Nina Simone, “R U Ready” by TNGHT and “Down for My Niggaz” by C-Murder. Although most of the hooks are build in the heavy horns of “Down For My Niggaz”, the song has a somber sound throughout the other parts and on the last verse, its a complex song sonically. Its a mix that walks very well, the pianos at the end has Kanye singing in an auto-tune voice similar to 808 days. Some of his lyrics on the hook are about relationships “You could’ve been somebody/’Stead you had to tell somebody/Let’s take it back to the first party/When you tried your first molly/It came out of your body/It came out of your body”. That’s just one of the hooks, the song switches up at the end and it goes from verse into hook. The lyrics on the last verse are interesting, as it deals with gold digging “Then she said she pregnant ain’t it/That’s the night your heart died/Then you gotta go and tell your girl and report that/Main reason cause your pastor said you can’t abort that/Now your driver say that new Benz you can’t afford that/Or that cocaine on the table you can’t snort that/That going to that owing money that the court got/On and on that alimony/Yeah, yeah she got you homey/’Til death do you part/Unholy matrimony”. PHewwwww! Did I mention the keys on this one are amazing.
8.) Guilt Trip (Ft. Kid Cudi)
“Guilt Trip” features long time collaborator Kid Cudi, who has separated from GOOD Music as a label but shows that he is still a key ingredient to Kanye’s music. The sound of this is similar to 808s in its heavy thumps and the use of Cudi for a vibrant hook “If you love me so much then why’d you let me go? Let me go, let me go, let me go, let me go/If you love me so much then why’d you let me go?” Kid Cudi expresses that emotion of loss very well through his singing. The song effortlessly deals with heartbreak and I love the use of Pusha-T’s “Blocka” in some of Kanye’s lyrics, “Maybe it’s cause/She into Leo’s and I was into trios/Plus all the trips to Rio couldn’t have helped/It’s gettin’ cold, better bring your ski clothes/Pick it through the keyhole, the door locked by myself/And I’m feelin’ it right now/Cause it’s the time when my heart got shot/Blocka blocka, blocka, blocka blocka, blocka”. Kanye and Cudi collaborations are so necessary.
9.) Send It Up (Ft. King L)
“Send It Up” features King L, who Kanye has also give praise for representing Chicago. This is the closest I would think the songs come to a club song, because of its bouncy sound and the hook that King L provides is easy to listen and just vibe. Kanye pronounces, “This the greatest shit in the club/Since “In the club..“, the lyrics here are basic and fun. Its one of the shortest songs that features the least Kanye, not bad at all but I’m not a big fan of King L. The outro hook is provided by Beenie Man “Memories don’t live like people do/They always ‘member you/Whether things are good or bad/It’s just the memories that you have”, which was weird at first listen. This is my least favorite song.
10.) Bound 2 (Ft. Charlie Wilson)
This one of the most talked tracks on the internet right now. “Bound 2” is the last track, and up to this point its a roller coaster ride of emotions. The emotion on here is much lighter, the production is not as aggressive as the rest, but its still powerful. The samples here are lively and Kanye focuses on lyrics about relationships. Kanye’s lyrics are funny and honest throughout, “Hey, you remember where we first met? Okay, I don’t remember where we first met/But hey, admittin’ is the first step/And hey, you know ain’t nobody perfect/And I know, with the hoes I got the worst rep/But hey, their backstroke I’m tryna perfect…”. (There’s just too many ‘lol’ moments here, but in a good way). Charlie Wilson provides the bridge hook “I know you’re tired of loving, of loving/No hiding your love, no hiding, no hiding/Just grab somebody, no leaving this party/With nobody to love, nobody, nobody/Uh huh honey…”. The song has multiple layers, of singing/rapping and production changes from light drums to heavy bass and crooning with the sampling behind the rapping. (its alot going on). The playfulness is found til the very end as Kanye’s last lines are “Jerome’s in the house, watch your mouth/Jerome’s in the house, watch your mouth” (reference to the show Martin). Bound 2 fall in love indeed.
In conclusion, I don’t know what else to say because this is an AMAZING album that has to be EXPERIENCED. There’s so much and this is a compilation of thoughts of feelings that I’m just having now, and there will be more as I give it more listens (this is based on repeated listens in a 5hr period). There’s alot of quotables in the album that its difficult to choose, the songwriting and composition of it all is next level. YEEZUS SEASON IS OFFICIALLY HERE. That’s all that matters, and the album is great whether you understand it or not. Its about the feel. You won’t be able to escape this album this summer. June 18th. Buy “Yeezus”.